So guys we had our penultimate game of the season in China. Passports at the
ready the majority of us all hop into taxis from the White Stag. With a
little help from I-phone technology we turn up with a little time for a
brief warm up and start with a 4 – 4 – 2 formation of : Brian (G), Stef,
Dan, Scott, Terry (D), Ed, Tom, Nathan, Matt (M), Patrick, Forlan (F). From
a distance the pitch looked superb but close up we see that its a bit of a
shocker with huge puddles and middle of the park resembling the swamp that
Shrek grew up in.
The team talk emphasizes closing the other team down early and given that we
had beaten this team 6 – 0 before making sure that we stayed focused and
composed. All that goes out of the window when after a few minutes a break
from them sees Brian chop down their striker and pick up a yellow. It was a
relief to see that we did not go down to 10 which would have been a
disaster. In any case they score a well taken penalty and go up 1 – 0. To be
fair they are well on top from here on a our passing is shoddy and we don’t
close down at all. It it wasn’t for some good defending especially from
Scott we would have been even further behind. After about fifteen minutes
we creep back into the game. We play a little better and a good move sees an
excellent cross from Matt which Tom may have got a flick which finally sees
Forlan scramble in a goal and its 1 – 1.
This gives us some well needed momentum and we start to play much better for
the next ten minutes. Ed and Stef combine well on the left. Matt makes some
good runs on the right and Forlan is looking dangerous up front. Nathan has
the ball laid off to him by Stef. and then scores one of the best goals by
Soho in a long while and hits is a rocket that swerves into the top right
corner from around 35 yards. We get a deserved 2-1 lead and have worked
very hard to get back ahead. Nathan and Pat then combine well, Matt and Ed
get some dangerous crosses in. We get a free kick that Nathan hits over from
distance which was another good effort and Tom also gets a shot in. Although
we are on top the opposition… credit to them is also working hard and the
quickest player on the park flies down the left wing going past two of our
defenders drills in an equalizer. We are stunned and hobble off the pitch
and at half time it is 2 – 2.
At half time we have a chat and its obvious that this is going to be a tough
game. The gaffer is not happy that we started slowly and that we have not
closed down the opposition enough. However, we did play well in periods and at 2 –
2 it not a disaster. Chi comes on for Tom in the middle of the park and
Cowley who only made it to the pitch minutes before comes on for Pat.
Immediately we start well and look like the sort of team that has played so
well over the last month or so. Chi immediately get some hits in. Matt and
Ed show their skills on the wings and play with great determination. Cowley
attempts a header at shin height and wastes a perfect cross from Matt after
five minutes. However, the "pride of the shire" gets a chance to redeem
himself a few minutes later and smashes in a half volley into the top left
corner from just outside the area. 3 – 2 we are on top and playing well,
everyone looks well up for this half. Hao comes on for Ed on the left and
immediately gets into the game linking well with Nathan. Its good to have
the Chairman. James comes on for Matt on the right and also plays well.
Forlan has a shot and wins a corner. Brian makes a good save when their
quick player breaks through but
this is their only real chance of the half as we are totally on top. Chi
hits the post and has now done this on three occasions times in two
halves! Another corner is flicked on by Chi and Dan scores a well directed
header. 4 – 2 get in ! Stef plays well on the left combines with Hao and
Cowley shoots over. James also has a shot from range. Chi and Forlan also
combine well and Forlan has another shot and gets a corner.
The ref blows up and once again we finish the second half stronger than how we
played in the first. This is great to see as it shows our determination
especially in light of the heavy pitch. Well done to everyone; a really solid
performance which showed the character of our squad We are really digging in
as a team. Its great to see that we fight hard for each other.
A good turn out at Yorkshire Pudding later on that starts off another
excellent Saturday night.
MAN OF THE MATCH NOMINATIONS/WINNER:
Stef, Nathan, Dan, Cowley, Scott and Terry. Nathan (The South African
Rivaldo) wins for an excellent all round performance in front of the back four
and a fantastic goal
MUG OF THE DAY NOMINATIONS/WINNER:
Terry and Scott for clothing issues… "I’ll go back next week and pay for the
sleeves"! Cowley wins for a number of reasons including trying to head the
ball at foot height and getting lost over the border although the conference call he had
with Chi in the 1st half helped them bond which is apparently very useful for morale.
Lets finish off with another win tomorrow!
STRENGTH & HONOUR